Brands race forward with Tour de France UK arrival


The MarketingWeek published an article on this year´s Tour de France, which starts in the UK this year, and the marketing opportunities that come along with. Repucom´s Ulrich Lacher analyzes the pro and contra of sponsoring races like the Tour de France.

“McCain, Skoda and Ebay are among a raft of brands planning to use the Tour de France’s return to the UK after seven years to target local communities with efforts to push their health and wellbeing credentials.

Ebay searches for Rapha – the official manufacturer of the Team Sky jersey – jumped 200 per cent during the 2013 Tour de France compared to the previous month and the company expects demand to be higher this year. The auction site is working with several companies to target cycling enthusiasts through its advertising proposition. Cycling fans are to be served with listings related to their behavior on the site over the summer in order to drive sales from different categories.

By understanding what influences a shopper’s purchase decision – be it sports events or sunshine, Ebay hopes to use the race as a platform to demonstrate the targeting capabilities it now offers

Ulrich Lacher, director of cycling insights at Repucom, says the event throws up a great opportunity to generate a quick return-on-investment so long as brands play to its regional strengths.

He adds: The problem with races like the Tour de France is that they are not perceived as international platforms. If you look at many of the Tour de France sponsors they are mainly French brands that tend to activate nationally rather than across Europe.

“That doesn’t mean it can’t work as a marketing platform. Because there is such high interest in cycling throughout the UK then brands can make lower-key investments along the [race] route to generate awareness and relevancy around the sport.”